Since the end of World War II, peace studies has emerged as an interdisciplinary area of inquiry that draws on social science, the humanities, the creative arts and science in an effort to understand reasons for war and ways to resolve conflicts without violence.
Since the late 1980s, the focus of Brandeis' Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies Program (PAX) has shifted from the Cold War and the nuclear threat to understanding how conflicts can be resolved nonviolently instead of violently — whether the conflicts are international, among groups and individuals, or even within the self. This emphasis supplements and intersects with the larger goal of ending war altogether.
Our students examine the many meanings of "security," study the nature of power and political participation, consider contrasts between war culture and peace culture, recognize differences between positive peace and negative peace, investigate the relationship between inner peace and outer peace, see the role the arts can play in analyzing war and promoting peace, and explore ways of addressing conflicts that honor the integrity of all parties involved.
Students who wish to major in Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies can construct an individually tailored program.